PORTLAND – Federal prosecutors rested their case Friday after five days of testimony in the child pornography trial of James M. Cameron in U.S. District Court.

Cameron, who was Maine’s top drug prosecutor three years ago when he came under investigation, now must decide whether he will take the stand. He is charged with 10 counts of sending child pornography, four counts of receiving it and one count of possessing it.

“Mr. Cameron has asked for the weekend to decide if he will testify in his own defense,” his lawyer, Michael Cunniff, told Judge John Woodcock Jr.

If Cameron elects not to testify on Monday, the lawyers will move on to closing arguments and then the case will be solely in the hands of Woodcock. Cameron has decided to waive his right to a jury.

Woodcock said he cannot predict how long it will take him to reach a verdict after closing arguments are finished. Cameron, who has been free on $75,000 bail and is required to wear an electronic monitor on an ankle, will be held in custody pending sentencing if the judge finds him guilty.

Cameron, 48, of Hallowell, lost his job as an assistant state attorney general in April 2008 and was indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2009.

Each count of sending and receiving child pornography is punishable by a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. Possession is punishable by as much as 10 years in prison.

Detective Scot Bradeen and forensic examiner Dawn Ego — members of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit — were the final witnesses called by the government.

They painted a picture of Cameron as a man who was deeply immersed in the online world of child pornography while serving as the assistant attorney general in charge of drug prosecutions. In some instances, Ego said, Cameron was engaged in illegal activity on his home computers when his work records indicated that he was on the job.

Bradeen said he spent parts of the last 2½ years analyzing information from four computers that were seized from Cameron’s home in December 2007.

The detective said file-erasing software called “Wash ‘N Go” had been used extensively on the machines, but Bradeen was able to find many images of child pornography, e-mails related to child pornography and Internet searches for explicit subjects.

The person who had the user name “Jim” on the computers participated in erotic chats in which he expressed an interest in “little girls” as young as 1 year old, Bradeen testified.

Bradeen acknowledged that such chats are not illegal, but when combined with the illegal images and other evidence, the chats supported the prosecution’s claim that Cameron did not get the child pornography incidentally.

“Are these images the result of accidental and/or inadvertent activity? The answer is no,” Bradeen testified.

Cameron’s attorney, Michael Cunniff, suggested during cross-examination that the government still has not proven it was Cameron who knowingly received, sent or possessed any illegal materials.

 

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at: [email protected]